Carbon metabolism is a crucial aspect of cell life. Glucose, as the primary source of energy and carbon skeleton, determines the type of cell metabolism and biosynthetic capabilities, which, through the regulation of cell size, may affect the reproductive capacity of the yeast cell. Calorie restriction is considered as the most effective way to improve cellular physiological capacity, and its molecular mechanisms are complex and include several nutrient signaling pathways. It is widely assumed that the metabolic shift from fermentation to respiration is treated as a substantial driving force for the mechanism of calorie restriction and its influence on reproductive capabilities of cells. In this paper, we propose another approach to this issue based on analysis the connection between energy-producing and biomass formation pathways which are closed in the metabolic triangle, i.e., the respiration-glycolysis-pentose phosphate pathway. The analyses were based on the use of cells lacking hexokinase 2 (∆hxk2
) and conditions of different glucose concentration corresponding to the calorie restriction and the calorie excess. Hexokinase 2 is the key enzyme involved in central carbon metabolism and is also treated as a calorie restriction mimetic. The experimental model used allows us to explain both the role of increased respiration as an effect of calorie restriction but also other aspects of carbon metabolism and the related metabolic flux in regulation of reproductive potential of the cells. The obtained results reveal that increased respiration is not a prerequisite for reproductive potential extension but rather an accompanying effect of the positive role of calorie restriction. More important seems to be the changes connected with fluxes in central carbon metabolic pathways resulting in low biosynthetic capabilities and improved proteostasis.
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